Day 52: Pinchot Pass

Started: Woods Creek Suspension Bridge (799.8)

Ended: Tentsite (811.3)

Total Miles: 11.5

Achievements: Pinchot Pass (12,106 feet), Hike Naked Day

Sorry readers, I did not partake in the June 21st tradion, International Hike Naked Day. Just saying.

We crossed the 800 mile mark!

Soon after we visited the Woods Creek Waterslide. The river crosses over rock. It carved what looks more like waterride. It was amazing.

Compared to yesterday, today was a pretty easy day, if your idea of an easy day is hiking seven miles uphill, climbing a 12,000 foot pass, and then hiking 4.5 miles to camp.

We met a couple from Switzerland, and they helped us realize that what makes these climbs hard are the steps. I know what you are saying. “There are steps on the trail?”. Yes, in some places steps have been cut, but they are not uniform. On some switchbacks, these steps are thigh high and you have to lift your whole body and pack. For Glen Pass, the approach consisted of 205 thigh high steps.

I know you are now asking, “Did you really count them?”. Yes. Yes, I did. It was the only way to keep my mind off of my burning calves and quads. There is only one way up, and the sooner it is done, the sooner I can enjoy the view.

Today’s Pass was completely different. It was a more traditional series of graded switchbacks. We eat those up. I was conserving energy for the shoe to drop as the inevitable one to two hours full body lifts would start, but they never came.

On the way down, Fish Tank decided to take a jump in a frozen lake. As a Wisconsinite, I’ve already polar bear-ed, so I didn’t need to do that again. I learned my lesson the first time.

On the walk down, I met the other hiker named “The Machine”. It was a remarkable conversation. I hope to meet her again.

Tomorrow is Mather Pass (12,106 feet) and a trip down the back called the Golden Highway. It is a 16 mile climb down. Should be interesting.

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